IPCC Report – UPSC GS3

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report:
  • The report analyses near-term, mid-term and long-term impacts of climate change due to an average increase of temperature by 1.5°C.
  • It suggests immediate measures that the world’s leaders must take.
Threats identified:
  • Food Security:
    • The scientists opine that “unsustainable agricultural expansion, driven in part by unbalanced diets” has increased the stress on the ecosystem, resulting in competition for land and water.
    • The report suggests that with increased global warming levels in the mid-term (from 2041-60), the risks of food security would be severe.
    • This will lead to malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, Central and South America and Small Islands.
  • Species at risk of extinction:
    • The IPCC report says that in the current situation, about 3% to 14% of all species on earth are at a very high risk of extinction at 1.5°C, with disastrous losses at higher temperatures.
    • This will have an impact on ecological catastrophes.
  • Disasters:
    • According to the report, between 2010-2020, human deaths from floods, droughts and storms was 15 times more in highly vulnerable regions, compared to very low vulnerability regions.
    • South Asia is a hotspot.
    • Heavy rainfall has increased in the Indian subcontinent, and regions like Chennai, Chittagong, Dhaka and Mumbai, the Gangetic Plains and the Delhi – Lahore corridor are seen as future hotspots.
Suggested remedial measures:
  • For food security:
    • Raising the output through cultivar improvements, agroforestry, community-based adaptation, farm and landscape diversification, and urban agriculture.
    • Applying the principles of agroecology (a composite measure of using ecological and social concepts for sustainable agriculture), ecosystem-based management in fisheries and aquaculture, and use of natural processes can improve food security, nutrition, health, livelihoods, and biodiversity.
  • For disaster management:
    • Heat Health Action Plans that include early warning and response systems for extreme heat.
    • Water-borne and food-borne disease threats can be tackled by bettering the access to potable water, and insulating the water and sanitation systems to floods and other extreme weather events.
    • Mainstreaming of adaptation actions into institutional budget and policy planning.
    • Introducing incentives and economic instruments that help address market failures to help public and private players sustain themselves.
  • Climate-resilient development:
    • Climate Resilient Development would help achieve a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, formulation of actions to absorb existing CO2 in the atmosphere, and increase the allocation of funds for adaptation.
    • The IPCC feels the current trend of energy-intensive and market-led urbanisation demands an immediate and critical need for climate-resilient development.
    • Weak and insufficient finances, wrong policies in areas such as housing, poor land-use policies, flawed approaches in health, ecological and social planning impact resilient development.
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